rule of thumb


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Related to rule of thumb: Rule of thirds

rule of thumb

n. pl. rules of thumb
A useful principle having wide application but not intended to be strictly accurate or reliable in every situation.

[From the use of the thumb as a makeshift ruler or measuring device, as in carpentry.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

rule of thumb

n
a. a rough and practical approach, based on experience, rather than a scientific or precise one based on theory
b. (as modifier): a rule-of-thumb decision.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

rule′ of thumb′


n.
1. a general principle or rule based on experience or practice, as opposed to a scientific calculation.
2. a rough, practical method of procedure.
[1685–95]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.rule of thumb - a rule or principle that provides guidance to appropriate behaviorrule of thumb - a rule or principle that provides guidance to appropriate behavior
rule, regulation - a principle or condition that customarily governs behavior; "it was his rule to take a walk before breakfast"; "short haircuts were the regulation"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Translations
regla general
nyrkkisääntö
ökölszabály
þumalputtaregla
tumregel
References in classic literature ?
She was born in a rural district of England, where life proceeds by rule of thumb and the unexpected is so very unexpected that when it happens it is looked upon as an immorality.
When you are near the inflection point where wind and slope might take you beyond the effective runway length required for a safe takeoff, you can go to the POH and make a calculation, or can use the rule of thumb for calculating "effective runway length" with a tailwind.
This is a rule of thumb for advection fog and advection stratus.
The formulation is fuzzier than any sort of exact recipe (as in baking) or algorithm, but a Rule of Thumb is a way to solve a problem much more quickly than following a detailed set of rules.
Unfortunately, there is no "rule of thumb" for breaking in a new firearm.
If you round those numbers up, you get 8-12 fps, with a middle ground of 10 fps, which is the generally accepted rule of thumb. Just remember you will trend on the lower side with bows that have an IBO speed rating under 335 fps and come out a little higher on bows with a speed rating greater than 335 fps.
At any rate, if you Google "rule of thumb" you will find there are many explanations about where the phrase came from--everything from violence (proper thickness of a stick used to discipline someone or something), to physical measurement (distance between the base of the thumbnail and the first joint is an inch), to wind measurement (raising a wet thumb into the air), or to setting a table (in order set a row of plates one places the thumb on the edge of the table and extends it).
That growth rate is roughly half of what our rule of thumb would suggest we need just to hold the unemployment rate constant.
Can either rule of thumb be credible if each yields a drastically different value?
With the 25 percent rule of thumb and other essentially arbitrary methods of calculation no longer acceptable in determining damages, experts say it may be wise to have witnesses prepare multiple damages theories.
The site's ambitious but certainly useful goal is "to gather every rule of thumb on earth into one gargantuan, easily searchable online reference database that will be accessible from anywhere in the world and continue to grow forever." Content reaches well beyond the books through high-quality reader-contributed entries.
Takayuki Tamura and colleagues note that wine connoisseurs established the rule of thumb because of the flavor clash between red wine and fish.